in , , by Trishie Dela Cruz, 11:52:00 PM

Yes, that is a question. Hihi. Are you a traveler or a tourist? Before I share my thoughts, here are some of the quotes regarding the dilemma to make you ponder.

"A tourist is an amateur traveler, and a traveler is a professional tourist."

- Huffington
"Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey."

-Pat Conrey

"The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see." -Gilbert K. Chesterone

"Tourists travel through a location by seeing it from a window or a deck. Travelers allow themselves to be immersed in the spot. When you let yourself get dirty, wet, muddy, and cold, then you have found a place." -Erick Rock

"The traveler was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him. He goes 'sight-seeing.'" -Daniel J. Boorstin
"A journey or travel is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it." -John Steinbeck
"One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things." -Henry Miller

"One way to open your eyes is to ask yourself, 'What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?' " -Rachel Carson
“Please be a traveler, not a tourist. Try new things, meet new people, and look beyond what’s right in front of you. Those are the keys to understanding this amazing world we live in.” ― Andrew Zimmern
Tourists don't know where they've been, travelers don't know where their going" -Paul Theroux

A lot of people are saying and claiming whether they're a traveler, or a tourist. But a lot wants to claim that they are a traveler because it looks like more serious than a tourist. But for me, I can say that I am both and I can definitely explain the difference of the two. Well, I am a tourist every time I travel with my family and a tour guide. Yes, that's a number one thing that makes you a tourist. You have a group tour with a tour guide(We will talk about it later).And I'm a traveler whenever I'm on a tight budget and seeking for the "Get Lost" Factor :)

I listed below the differences of being a traveler and a tourist :)

(My family, presenting the private bus especially for us! hihi)

Tourist: Once you get down the airplane, a travel agent or tour guide will welcome you at the airport with a banner of your name. They are never late! You just have to find the name of the travel agency and your name :)A bus or a van is waiting for you outside. Most of the time, it's a private van for your family. No more walking. No more waiting. Just enjoy the comfort of your private bus with a lazy boy seat with your own built-in usb and socket charger(depends on the bus) and the beauty of the view. Yes, it's definitely a pleasure, it's definitely a dream! A dream come true to me. Except that we are still never "complete" :( I still don't have a "whole family picture". I can say that I'm so blessed and I'm thankful. Special thanks to my brother Mark for the travel trips that he always treats us. Thanks to all of my family. You put so much meaning in my life now. I understand now what's the meaning of the family. Now I understand why my favorite movie is Lilo and Stitch... "Ohana means family, and family means no body gets left behind, or forgotten". Being a tourist is a pleasure but makes you become more thankful for everything. You get to see how lucky you are. Just like a traveler, it also makes you realize how good life is.
Traveler: This is one of the best part of being a traveler. Once you get down of the airplane, your journey begins! No more contact person, no wifi, no signal and the like. You get lost! And if you get lost, you get to explore. You get to talk to people. You get to experience, and you get the most out of being a traveler. Just like of being a tourist, you get to feel life. You will experience their culture, for example, the main transportation in Cambodia is a "tuk tuk", of course, you need to ride it and all their public transportation to reach the hostel. Wait! If they have a tuktuk, a double decker bus, a taxi boat and so on, hey! We have the jeepney! And the horse vehicles(kalesa)! Something to be proud of!
Being a traveler doesn't only mean "out of the country". Because my boyfriend and I always travel here in the Philippines. We explore the unspoiled nature gift of the Philippines, on a budget. We are a traveler, we get to talk to people and explore their life and culture. Pero wag ka, we also have tour guides! But they are kids! And you will get surprised how matured they think. How a kuya thinks as a kuya at a very young age. Why? Because they are already work for their living. They are a paid tour guides. For how much? "Kayo na po ang bahala"...

(Tuktuks in Cambodia)

Being a traveler means you will partake on their system and culture. And that's great! You will know how their MRT works, Just like their people, you will also queue with them, to get tickets. The good side when you're on a rich country, is that you will be able to experience their high tech ticketing machines and other stuff. Like you know, their means of transportation are cashless. They have a loadable card that you will just tap on the bus, train, taxi and all. Yes, using just one card. That card serves as their wallets already. Lah, you'll say that Philippines has a lot of catching up to do. On the other hand, when you're on a poor country, you can say "Who says that Philippines is the worst country?" Because just like in the Philippines, they also have bad sides. For example, the fixers, the one who annoy you and ask you if you need a ride but will ask you for a too much expensive fare. But kudos to them for speaking in english! Hehe...

Hitch hiking. This is another means of transportation for the travelers. I never tried it yet so go ahead google what does it mean. Hehe...

All in all, if you are the adventurous type, being a traveler is much better because you have the world to explore freely and on your own.

(Cozie Lodge Hostel)

Tourist: If you're a tourist, you get to sleep in a 3 to 5 star air-conditioned hotel. You have a very comfy mattress and bedsheets. You have a dim light and a make up table. You have a cabled-flat screen television. If you're lucky enough, you have your own bath tub or jacuzzi. You have a wake-up call. You can use their wifi and relax on their amenities such as bars, swimming pools and gyms. You can indulge on anything that the hotel can offer. Ahhh... Being a tourist is a total relaxation and a reward.

(Thanks to our handy dandy blanket. My boyfriend and I slept on some of the airport's benches to kill time)
Traveler: Accommodation? Being a traveler, having an accommodation is nothing. As a traveler, you can sleep anywhere you can. I've tried sleeping on the airport or bus station's benches, or sometimes, I'll just sleep in the bus or train overnight when the travel time is long. Yes, that's a big savings rather than paying for a hotel. Say taking advantage of the long haul travels(For example, from Malaysia to Thailand is a 14hours ride. I chose the night travel so we could just sleep in the train). But that's not always the case, because the train fare is not free. Haha! Sooooo, what I usually do when I opt to stay in just a single country, is that I sleep in a hostel or I just do the couch surfing. Hostel is a way lot more cheaper because it's like a dorm type hotel. It's like, there are 12 beds in one room. Yes, you get to sleep and eat with different nationalities. And that's the greatest part. Almost everyone that sleeps in a hostel is a traveler just like you and you get to talk to them and exchange your stories and experiences with them. My favorite part i a hostel? Is the book exchange!

Whilst, couch surfing is an organization composed of travelers at heart looking for a host where they will offer you their house for free. Sometimes, they will let you sleep on their extra bed, or on a literal couch. Check out for extra details

My boyfriend and I used to travel here in the Philippines too! And our accommodation is portable. Yes. It's on our backs! A tent! Hihi... Mountaineers are also a traveler too!!


Tourist: Heavenly 3x a day Buffet!! Yup! That's how a tourist roll! Hehe... Most of the times, the food is already included in your tour itinerary. And most of the time, it's a luxurious buffet. Yes. No doubt why I get so fat easily when I travel with my family. Sometimes, it's a set of meals being served on your table, but I'll promise you that you will still be satisfied! As a tourist, I'll just wait for the "It's Eating Time" moment. No more worries and thinking on what and where to eat. You will just wait to taste their finely served local and traditional food offerings, unlimitedly!

Traveler: If you're a traveler and if you have a tight budget, you just need to opt for a food hawkers. If you're on a rich country, it's not easy to find a cheap food because I can say that foods here in the Philippines are way more cheaper than theirs. You shouldn't be converting if you want to eat on a budget. And guess what? I'm so thankful that water is free on the canteens(carinderia) or any food chains here in the Philippines. Because outside the country, there's no free! You have to buy your own water if you want to drink! And guess what? A bottled water in Singapore costs 2S$ and that's a fvckin 66php for just a small bottle of water. I always have a hard time finding a good food when I travel as a traveler. I just always opt for a fried chicken. I don't know why, but if it's not a buffet or if it's not a fine restaurant, for me, their foods are different. I don't like it. There's always a taste that my system doesn't accept.

(My boyfriend and I eating in some of the food hawkers)

Another food experience of being a traveler that I experienced is that some times, they don't have a spoon and fork! Yes, you need to use a chopped sticks! Hehe. I remember the first time I mastered the chopped sticks, way back 2009 I think, was when we went to Japan. There's a lot of restaurants there where there's no spoons and forks. You have no choice but to learn using their own means of eating.

Let's talk about local. When it comes to my boyfriend and I's nature tripping or camping travels here in the Philippines, we just bring canned goods and fried cooked foods on our backpacks and eat it anywhere on where we can place our picnic matt. Yep. Definitely a traveler


Tourist: "This is not just an ordinary H&M, this is an H&M from Paris" Yah, that's how a tourist works when it comes to shopping. They shop for brands and anything that they want to- not knowing that you can find some items in our very own Divisoria, "And so what? I bought this in Singapore" Hehe... They shop for souvenirs though, of course. To cut the story short, they shop for pleasure. Yes sometimes I'm a tourist when it comes to shopping too. But all the time, I'm a traveler shopper because...

(Real crocodile body- souvenirs in Cambodia's floating village)

Traveler: A traveler shops for something that is unique in the country. Like I will buy this coffee because this coffee is famous only here in Sabah and it's really delicious. Or, I will buy this pipe because it's way more cheaper here than in the Philippines. And most of the time, I will buy this particular stuff because there's no any other place where I can buy this, but only here in this particular country.


(Guess who are listening and guess who are not. hehe)

Tourist: Usually, you are on your own group, so you will only be able to talk to those who are just inside of your group. Usually, tourists don't talk to the locals because the tour guides do it for them. Though, tourists talk to the different group of tourists as well. Not bad because you get to talk to different nationalities too! The last time that my family traveled, we met a doctor from Great Britain, on the tourist spot in Sabah Borneo.

When I say that a tourist is this and a traveler is that, always remember that there's still always an exception. Mind you, we're a tourist, but my father, he always talks like a traveller. He talks to everyone! Haha! Like everyone, most especially to the locals.

(With our kiddie tour guides. They served us foods)

Traveler: This is the best part of being a traveler. You will meet different kinds of people around the world! You will meet a travelers like you, a locals, an OFW and even Filipinos. You get to talk to them, you get to know their stories, and you also get to share your own story Ahhhh, the best feeling is when the people says "you're an amazing girl" every time they find out that I travel alone and spends on my own and because of business. You know, you become an inspiration. Most of the time, they won't even know or remember your name. But the story that you left them, that's what makes them remember you. And the story will be passed to others and will inspire others too. Same to me, I get inspired with their stories and I pass their stories too. Yeah, that's the best feeling. Feeling that you've contributed something good to the world and society The bonus part? Thanks to the technology, you could ask for the contact information of the people you meet and add em up on facebook easily! And just like me, it's so flattering to have facebook friends from around the world. Yay! I have a friend from Russia, Germany, New York, Paris, Cambodia, Malaysia etc. etc... And this is what "Cool" for me I think


Tourist: Tourists have a specific place to visit. The schedule is fixed. It's like "spoon feeding". All you have to do is enjoy the ride, enjoy the place, and take pictures! Activities are just a bonus! Just like me, I tried one of my bucket lists during our Kota Kinabalu Malaysia tour- Parasailing! Tour is really a self-satisfaction.

(My brother and I-Parasailing)

Traveler: A traveler doesn't have an itinerary or schedule. It's a "come what may" situation. You don't know where to go but you make sure to enjoy anywhere you are. Well some times you have plans of going to the tourist attractions too, but you're more to discovering what's not in the market or those that are not in-demand. It's like a tourist will go to Disney Land while a traveler will go to a Cultural Village. Or, a tourists will go to Boracay, while my boyfriend and I, as a traveler, will go to the unspoiled natures of the Philippines like Minalunggao. Well as for me, honestly, I search for a "free things to do in..." before I go outside the country, but I still do consider myself a traveler. For example, I went to The Famous Singapore's Merlion, but it took me a lot of walking and experiences to reach it. And what I only have is a map. Yeah it's an in-demand tourist attraction, but the means of how I went there makes me become a traveler, but when I reached it, I was a tourist. You know, I made a thousand of selfies! Hehe...


Tourist: Most of the knowledges that you will learn are still by the book. Or a passed knowledge. What I mean is, duh, you have a tour guide! The tourist guide will tell you this, will tell you that. Yes, the tourist guide is very informative if only you choose to listen. Though, he or she will tell you so many things and so many names and so many dates that most of the time, the tourists are not even really interested. It's like, yeah this is the Ankor Wat, this is a ziggurat, this is a temple, this was built hundred of years ago bla bla bla... But as a tourist, what they really want to do is to take a picture of it and post it on facebook without caring when it was built. Well I don't say that all of the tourists are like that, because just like me, as a tourist during those "tourista feels" moments, I still do shift as a traveler, because

Traveler: A traveler pays attention to the details. Yes, I wonder. And that's the number 1 quality of a traveler. I wonder how the hell did they made the very little details on the vey large walls of the temple without the use of any machines? You know, something like that. And as a traveler, you gain knowledges, general facts and truths because of the experiences and the people that you talked too. And it's so amazing to gain knowledges not just because of the books or teachers. You gain it yourself. because of experiences and communication. For example, every time that my boyfriend and I travel locally, we learn how the people from the provinces lives. How they prepare their foods. How they work for a living and so on and so fort. But unlike if you're a tourist, we didn't know what's the history of the place, when it was exactly built or who or how it was built. Anyhow, tourist may also learn through observations too, Like I learned how poor Cambodia is by just staring outside the windows of our bus and while the tour guide is telling us how much is their population. Hmmm... If we talk about the things that I've learned through traveling, well, this blog post won't be finished. Hehe... So go ahead have an adventure, talk to people and gain knowledges on your own

(Wall details of the Temple)


Tourist: Being a tourist is a luxury. You get to experience the pleasures that a country can give you. For example, when I'm with my family, for God's sake, my brother always treats us on a spa for a whole body massage! Yes! Everyday after the tour ends. We're like a kings and queens! And that's definitely a very good experience that we've paid for. Imagine that, I've been trying different body massages from different countries! That's definitely an experience. Hehe... Well, being a tourist means you get what you pay for. For example, if you pay for a cruise tour(that's exactly a tourist thing), you have all the freedom to use the whole cruise ship amenities and luxuries. And that's an experience that a normal people couldn't have easily. In short, the experiences of a tourist are expensive. While,

Traveler: Experiences of a traveler are free. Well, sometimes not. For example if you want to experience their subways, you definitely need to pay for the fare. But if you want to experience their culture, then all you have to do is to get involved with their people. Talk to them. And be nice to them. And for a traveler, that's considered as an experience already. Most of all, as a traveler, to experience the nature, to touch and to feel the present moment of your journey, is already an experience that doesn't need money. And I can attest that to get lost and to get back is the best experience that you could have.

Sometimes, for a traveler like me, I really do save money for my bucket lists and adventures such as sky diving and the like. But it's definitely an expensive thing which is a quality that a tourist has. But, I still do consider it as a traveler thing because it's a kind of adventure that a traveler seeks.


So, are you a traveler or a tourist? Me, I'm both And I love being both. Well it doesn't matter if you're a tourist or a traveler. It's a matter of the experiences that you gain. It's just that being a traveler is more challenging than being a tourist. And being a tourist is more relaxing and pleasurable than traveling. I still have a lot of things that I wanna share to you guys. But this blog post is getting too long! I will just share my other thoughts on my other articles. But at least, now you know the difference of a traveler and a tourist. Based on a very own experience.

I can't wait for more adventures and journeys! For those who doesn't have a budget yet, you can be a traveler in your own country too! The problem is, we ourselves are a "tourist" in our own country If only you know how beautiful the Philippines is! Yeah, of all my travels, I could proudly say that I'm a proud Filipina and it's more fun in the Philippines! Hihi

SHARE 0 comments

Add your comment